Welcome to Delmarva Public Radio’s celebration of National Poetry Month featuring “Literary Biographies with Sue Ellen Thompson.” I’m your host Harold Wilson. In this series, Sue Ellen Thompson discusses the life and work of three eminent American poets: Robert Frost, Jane Kenyon, and Jack Gilbert. Today’s lecture is the first in the series and is titled “Robert Frost, Wild Man.” Sue Ellen Thompson, a distinguished poet in her own right, has published five books of poetry, served as editor of the 2005 edition of the Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and is the recipient of numerous awards including nomination for the Pulitzer Prize. Her poems have been read a number of times on National Public Radio’s “The Writer’s Almanac.”
All four of the programs in this series are produced by Delmarva Public Radio with the cooperation of the Talbot County Free Library in Easton, Maryland and The Talbot County Arts Council which funded the original lecture series on which this program is based. All of the lectures were recorded in the Frederic Douglass room of the Talbot County Free Library before a live audience.
“Robert Frost, Wild Man,” focuses on the life of Frost following the death of his wife, Elinor in 1938. Frost is probably the best known and best loved poet in America and when we think of him, we think of a gentle soul sitting by the fireside in his New England cottage writing verse like “The Road Not Taken” or “Mending Wall,” poetry that touches our own gentle nature. Following the death of Elinor, however, Frost was a man in conflict. To ease his guilt and his depression, he reached out for another man’s wife. Sue Ellen’s lecture is the story of Frost’s relationship with that woman.
And now, Sue Ellen Thompson and “Robert Frost, Wild Man.”